This just happened: I wrote (and wrote, and wrote) half of a blog post with some strategic content marketing tips. Then, I got up from my desk and felt it – the pit in my stomach that made me realize what I was writing was B-O-R-I-N-G.
Was it useful? Sure. Had it been done before? Yes. YES.
Although I was putting my own spin on the strategy side of things, I realized something spectacular: I was bored writing it, so the reader would be even more bored reading about it. And overwhelmed (in spite of not trying to fear monger).
So, I hit Command-A and then Delete.
All that work. Gone.
And I’m so dang relieved. You should be too. And let me be the first to encourage you to do the same if you’ve ever written something that feels B-O-R-I-N-G to you too. Because you deserve better. Your customers deserve better.
Here’s a question I got recently and it’s one I get asked a lot:
“Everyone’s already written what I want to write. I don’t have anything new to add to the mix, so why bother? No one will read it anyway.”
I’m paraphrasing the many conversations I’ve had about this very topic but am happily talking about it here because it seems to weigh on every small business owner’s heart. Why bother adding another item to the to-do list if everyone’s done this before? Why try to reinvent the wheel?
The answer: Because you view your business through an entirely different lens than your competition.
You’re unique. You have a unique approach to how you operate. You have a unique way of communicating with your clients, fulfilling orders, and doing your THING. So when you try to talk about it in non-unique ways, it makes sense that it makes you feel yucky inside. That’s because it’s not authentically YOU.
But here’s the thing: You’re not trying to invent a brand new industry with your business. Unless you’re creating a way to bring tour groups into space for the same price tag as it’d cost to fly to Vegas, you’re not building anything new. And that’s okay.
Sales are emotional little devils.
People never buy based on facts alone. They buy based on emotion.
Take toilet paper for example. There isn’t a lot to it. It’s some 2-ply goodness that’s designed to keep our tooshies and unmentionables clean with each visit to the toilet.
However, it’s rare that people mix up the brand of their toilet paper. Really. When was the last time you bought something new? You might’ve tried a new brand to save money, but I’m willing to bet that you turned back around and bought your tried and true brand on the next visit.
That’s because toilet paper has emotion tied to it – nostalgia. Think about it if you don’t believe me.
And that’s the job of your business too. You have to have the same type of emotion tied to every transaction. Every blog post. Every type of content you produce.
You have to inspire a feeling behind your brand. To do that, you have to package up your product and message a little differently than everyone else. And that’s how you stand out.
Here’s another way to look at this: Reality TV shows. I know that’ll turn off some of you, but it’s my guilty pleasure so hear me out. Let’s take a look at The Bachelorette, which just wrapped up. Each season, the contestants are surprised to find out that there’s a rose on group dates (even though there are roses on just about every group date). They act surprised when someone does something outlandish to stand out in front of the lead. They’re shocked when people drink too much. Or draw attention to themselves. There’s nothing new to the storyline.
Still, people get sucked in every season. Why? Because there’s an emotional response to the lead. We’ve seen her fight for love before, get brokenhearted on national television, and want to cheer her on to lifelong marital bliss.
Here’s your challenge (should you choose to accept it):
What type of emotional reaction do you want the world to have about your brand? And what’s something NEW you can do to appeal to that emotional response?
Perhaps it’s a new package. Perhaps it’s a new voice. No matter what it is, it doesn’t have to be a new product. It just has to tug at a heartstring of your buyer, so that they choose you over the next guy…
… because there will always be a next guy. And that’s something that should excite you instead of scare you into silence.